It would seem I am not okay.
Until yesterday I had assumed I was. But as another day settled and all I did was work and play Animal Crossing, I realized the truth. I’m escaping from this solitary existence into a game with ten imaginary friends.
For those not “in the know”, Animal Crossing: New Horizons is the latest in a long-going series of games developed by Nintendo. The aim is, well, nothing specific. It’s a simulation game where you pretend to be a creature living on an island. It’s pure imagination-fueled. You are given an island, basically, and you have to catch fish and bugs and garden and spend copious amounts of currency (on bridges, furniture, inclines) until you can make your island less, you know, island-y. As you travel through the game, you get cute anthropomorphic residents (my favorites are a sheep, a zebra, and an anteater). None of them have jobs or do much of anything except sometimes sing or pretend to fish and catch bugs or ask you weird random questions or give you clothes for no reason. It’s cute, it’s relaxing, and best of all, it’s all yours.
I have logged over 250 hours into the game already (released 22 Mar). It’s been all-consuming. Over a 4 day weekend, I planned to write, do some weeding, read a bit, watch a couple of movies, and finish crocheting a scarf (because: cooler weather, yo!). I managed to do… none of those things. I was caught in a vortex.
I woke on Friday morning with the best idea. Make a secret hidden amusement park at the back of my island. Once I went down that rabbit hole, it turned to adding a bamboo forest and moving all the residents into their own little village, and the list goes on.
It seems I’m not alone in my not-okay-ness. The sheer volume of people talking about it on Twitter and Facebook and Reddit, and so on, is just mind-boggling. It was my therapy, but no more. I know it for what it is. It’s an addiction.
So now that I’ve said it, did I reach the first step? Am I cured? I both hope so and hope not. Because, I love my little island and it brings me such joy. (Pictures because why not?)
(Also, for those that do play and wanna be friends, my friend code is SW-3080-7022-4167)